2014 Progress Report: Sustainable Catalytic Treatment of Waste Ion Exchange Brines for Reuse During Oxyanion Treatment in Drinking Water

EPA Grant Number: R835174
Title: Sustainable Catalytic Treatment of Waste Ion Exchange Brines for Reuse During Oxyanion Treatment in Drinking Water
Investigators: Werth, Charles J , Strathmann, Timothy J.
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: December 1, 2011 through November 30, 2014 (Extended to November 30, 2016)
Project Period Covered by this Report: December 1, 2013 through November 30,2014
Project Amount: $500,000
RFA: Research and Demonstration of Innovative Drinking Water Treatment Technologies in Small Systems (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Drinking Water , Water

Objective:

The objectives of this work are to 1) identify palladium (Pd) catalyst formulations with sufficient activity to reduce different target oxyanions in brine solutions, 2) determine if catalyst activity can be maintained for extended periods of operations, and 3) assess the economic and environmental life cycle costs of hybrid ion exchange/catalyst treatment systems. 

Progress Summary:

During the reporting period, significant progress was made preparing for the pilot study. We tested ion exchange resins with residual nitrate, sulfate, and bicarbonate in the regeneration brine. This approach mimics catalytic nitrate reduction of waste brine and brine reuse in the ion exchange system. We also conducted many two-cycle ion exchange experiments with several synthetic waste brines to gauge the impact on ion exchange system performance. Additionally, we developed an ion exchange model to simulate ion exchange performance with fresh and catalytically treated brines in multi-cycle scenarios. These scenarios were used to analyze many variables that could affect the performance of the hybrid ion exchange/catalytic system.

Two flow-through column studies were performed with 0.5 wt% Pd-0.05 wt% In/AC catalyst in a large diameter flow-through column system (0.75 in-ID). During these studies, a synthetic brine containing high concentrations of bicarbonate and sulfate was evaluated for nitrate reduction, as well as two real brines from Chino, CA. Two separate batches of Chino brine were evaluated, since we ran out of the first batch of Chino brine. They had slightly different compositions, but similar results were obtained for both batches. The results of the column study testing synthetic brines were very positive and showed no catalytic deactivation despite the presence of high bicarbonate and high sulfate in the brine.

Significant progress was made in the area of life cycle assessment (LCA), with an LCA being performed and the manuscript submitted for publication. The overall results of the LCA show the hybrid ion exchange/catalytic system is a competitive alternative to the conventional ion exchange system in many of the life cycle categories. These results will be refined in the future when additional information is available from the pilot study.

Future Activities:

During the next reporting period, our primary efforts will focus on conducting the pilot study using the mini-ISEP system provided by Calgon Carbon Corp.  We will resize our catalytic column in order to treat the required volume of waste brine from the mini-ISEP system.  In support of this pilot reactor, the catalytic activity and hydrogen use of a typical fixed-bed reactor will be compared to other reactors when the catalyst is diluted by and fully mixed with catalyst-free support media, i.e., activated carbon.  Pending the results of the pilot study, we will refine the LCA of the hybrid ion exchange/catalytic system, however, this LCA refinement is likely to occur during the following reporting period.


Journal Articles on this Report : 9 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 57 publications 15 publications in selected types All 15 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Bergquist AM, Choe JK, Strathmann TJ, Werth CJ. Evaluation of a hybrid ion exchange-catalyst treatment technology for nitrate removal from drinking water. Water Research 2016;96:177-187. R835174 (2014)
R835174 (2015)
R835174 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Choe JK, Mehnert MH, Guest JS, Strathmann TJ, Werth CJ. Comparative assessment of the environmental sustainability of existing and emerging perchlorate treatment technologies for drinking water. Environmental Science & Technology 2013;47(9):4644-4652. R835174 (2012)
    R835174 (2013)
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  • Journal Article Choe JK, Boyanov MI, Liu J, Kemner KM, Werth CJ, Strathmann TJ. X-ray spectroscopic characterization of immobilized rhenium species in hydrated rhenium–palladium bimetallic catalysts used for perchlorate water treatment. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2014;118(22):11666-11676. R835174 (2014)
    R835174 (2015)
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  • Journal Article Choe JK, Bergquist AM, Jeong S, Guest JS, Werth CJ, Strathmann TJ. Performance and life cycle environmental benefits of recycling spent ion exchange brines by catalytic treatment of nitrate. Water Research 2015;80:267-280. R835174 (2014)
    R835174 (2015)
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  • Journal Article Liu J, Choe JK, Sasnow Z, Werth CJ, Strathmann TJ. Application of a Re–Pd bimetallic catalyst for treatment of perchlorate in waste ion-exchange regenerant brine. Water Research 2013:47(1):91-101. R835174 (2012)
    R835174 (2013)
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    R835174 (2015)
    R835174 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Liu J, Choe JK, Wang Y, Shapley JR, Werth CJ, Strathman TJ. Bioinspired complex-nanoparticle hybrid catalyst system for aqueous perchlorate reduction:rhenium speciation and its influence on catalyst activity. ACS Catalysis 2015;5(2):511-522. R835174 (2014)
    R835174 (2015)
    R835174 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Liu J, Chen X, Wang Y, Strathmann TJ, Werth CJ. Mechanism and mitigation of the decomposition of an oxorhenium complex-based heterogeneous catalyst for perchlorate reduction in water. Environmental Science & Technology 2015;49(21):12932-12940. R835174 (2014)
    R835174 (2015)
    R835174 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Zhang R, Shuai D, Guy KA, Shapley JR, Strathmann TJ, Werth CJ. Elucidation of nitrate reduction mechanisms on a Pd-In bimetallic catalyst using isotope labeled nitrogen species. ChemCatChem 2013;5(1):313-321. R835174 (2012)
    R835174 (2013)
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    R835174 (Final)
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  • Journal Article R. Zhang, D. Shuai, K. A. Guy, J. R. Shapley, T. J. Strathmann, C. J. Werth. Elucidation of Nitrate Reduction Mechanisms on a Pd-In Bimetallic Catalyst using Isotope Labeled Nitrogen Species. ChemCatChem., 5. 313-321, 2013. R835174 (2014)
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    Supplemental Keywords:

    Nitrate, perchlorate, ion exchange, brine reuse, catalytic reduction, palladium, indium, rhenium, toxics, innovative technology, cost-benefit, integrated assessment

    Relevant Websites:

    Charles J. Werth | Bettie Margaret Smith Chair in Environmental Health Engineering Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2015 Progress Report
  • Final Report